After much shock, authorities make haste to remove newly-installed board, that was ‘inadvertently’ placed there by Smart City workers
There was furore on social media and on the roads, after a sign board conveying that cycling is barred on Brigade Road cropped up on Sunday. Luckily, by evening, order was restored, and the sign board that was allegedly “indavertently” placed there was duly removed.
Nihar Thakkar who first noticed the board at 11.30 am on Sunday told Bangalore Mirror, “It’s really sad to see the government banning cycling on one of the most popular streets in Bengaluru. It’s very important to encourage the use of sustainable modes of transport to make our city more liveable and safe.”
As soon as Thakkar posted this on Twitter, Bengaluru Central MP PC Mohan reacted with a tweet, “I spoke to Bengaluru Smart City MD Rajendra Cholan who clarified that they didn’t install the sign. I will communicate with the authorities concerned and address this issue at the earliest. We always encourage sustainable choice which is our top priority.”
When contacted, a senior police official said that after the Smart City work was done there, workers had ‘inadvertently’ installed the board but removed it once it was brought to their notice. “A senior traffic police official said that the Brigade Road is open for cyclists and the board was mistakenly put up by the Smart City workers. He said, “The road was never closed for cyclists and the police too never stopped them on Brigade Road. After completing the Smart City work, the workers put up the board without cross checking with us. We removed the sign board on Sunday after it came to our notice and there is no confusion about it. Like two wheelers, cyclists have equal right to ride and there is no reason to stop cyclists.”
Another traffic official said that their workers were present at the signal junction where the sign board was put up and they kept clarifying it to the public so that it is not mistaken.
Bengaluru bicycle mayor Sathya Sankaran said that over the last few years, Bengaluru has been trying to make concrete moves towards becoming more public transport and active mobility friendly. The Cycle Day and Cycle to Work programmes led to an increase in attention towards cycling infrastructure in the city’s Comprehensive Mobility Plan and Pop-Up cycle lanes during the pandemic, he said. According to him, the city’s first car-free street Church Street First also brought back economic recovery to the businesses post the pandemic induced slump. “The cycle tracks in the CBD caught the attention of the National Smart Cities Mission and brought the city a light house city status among 100 others. It is hence unbecoming for the city authorities to even mistakenly put up such no-cycling sign boards that show us in very bad light across the world. With climate change wreaking havoc, there is an urgent need to increase the rate of building pedestrian and cycling-friendly infrastructure in the city,” he said.
It is unbecoming for the city authorities to even mistakenly put up such no-cycling sign boards that show us in very bad light across the world
–Bicycle mayor Sathya Sankaran
DCP Traffic East, KM Shantharaju said that the sign board was installed by the workers of a civic agency due to lack of information on Saturday and on Sunday, after it was brought to their attention, it was immediately dismantled.